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Lee H. Katzin
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Top New York cop Theo Kojak finds himself trapped in a tangled web of false trials, jealousies and murderous scheming as he investigates the death of two young boys. Their bodies are discovered in a Harlem river, the boys mother is the major suspect. But what appears to be an open shut case soon becomes something much more sinister. Written by
a tangled web of false trails, jealousies and murderous scheming
This made for TV movie based on the defunct Kojak TV series has New York Inspector Theo Kojak investigate a double infanticide, the murder of the two sons of Kitty Keeler, who is the wife of barman George Keeler.
Kitty is assumed to be guilty from the start because she does not behave the way a grieving mother is expected to, and her preferred dress of pastels supposedly suggests a duplicitous nature. The investigation is by-the-numbers, with the inevitable car chase, one subjective camera shot, and blood spattered over a photograph to show a gun suicide. But thankfully we are always drawn back to the innocence or guilt of Kitty, though any notion of a romance between Kojak and Kitty is dismissed by his sense of irony. Terry Savalas' bald head and full lips hints at a sensuality that his stiff acting negates.
The treatment presents Kitty as having a family with an older man, a sophisticated ambitious woman trapped in her environment, with the idea of her being a "working girl" associated with her described "generosity". This is also one of the rare times when an on-duty police officer accepts an offer of alcohol. The ambiguous ending is also more satisfying than us being given the definitive cop-show conclusion.
Everything leads to Kitty's long awaited police statement, a 5 minute monologue in close-up that director Alan Metzger violates with flashbacks and sound effects. However as Kitty, Kate Nelligan still emerges triumphant. In spite of the inconsistency of the writing of her role, she makes Kitty funny and passionate, also doing wonders with a street scene where she delivers a memory.
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